Low doses of radiation exposure will increase the risk of cardiovascular disease

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medical-radiation-exposure(NaturalHealth365) Ionizing radiation, even at small doses, such as those used in performing x-rays, can have a harmful effect on the cardiovascular system, researchers have found. This means radiation exposure equivalent to recurrent CT scanning can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, according to researchers from Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health.

But, what’s most disturbing is: the new research shows that even very low amounts of radiation – about 0.5 Gy (equivalent to getting semi-regular CT scans) – can raise the risk of cardiovascular damage considerably.

Radiation exposure from medical testing is NOT so harmless – especially to the vascular system

The increased risk for cardiovascular problems can also continue even decades after exposure. The researchers believe that radiation exposure could be causing alterations within the vascular system.

Drs. Omid Azimzadeh and Soile Tapio of Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health along with their colleagues found that human coronary artery endothelial cells responded to a fairly low dose of radiation (0.5 Gy) which led to permanent alterations that could adversely affect their functioning.

Endothelial cells comprise the inner layer of blood vessels. These cells were found to produce less nitric oxide after repeated radiation exposure at low doses. And, as you may know, nitric oxide is an essential molecule in a number of physiological processes, with vascular contraction being one of the most noteworthy.

Even small amounts of radiation exposure can damage cells – especially our DNA

In previous studies, high-dose radiation of around 16 Gy had been found to reduce nitric oxide levels persistently in mice blood serum. However, this current study showed impaired nitric oxide signaling can occur even after much lower doses of radiation.

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In addition, cells that have been damaged by low-dose radiation tend to produce increased reactive oxygen species amounts (ROS). This is formed as a natural byproduct of oxygen metabolism and plays a key role in cell signaling. Higher ROS can lead to damage to protein molecules as well as the DNA.

Exposed cardiac endothelial cells also showed markers for aging prematurely as well as a reduced capacity to degrade oxidized proteins effectively.

WARNING: Try to reduce even low-dose radiation exposure from X-rays and CT scans

These negative effects did not occur immediately, but instead tended to manifest in the longer term starting at one or two weeks. These cells are not known for dividing very rapidly in the body, and the observed duration within the cell culture would more accurately correspond to several years for a living organism.

The molecular changes referenced here are signs of a long-term premature dysfunction. They also suggest a mechanistic explanation to the data showing a higher risk of cardiovascular disease from even low doses of radiation exposure.

The study results (referenced in this article) were published in the International Journal of Radiation Biology and definitely give us something to think about when considering any medical test.

Sources for this article include:

TandFOnline.com
MedicalXpress.com